Bhutans religion | Buddhism | The image of the Buddha | The original Buddha

The original Buddha

The historical Buddha Shakyamuni manifests himself as Adibuddha* Vajradhara on the Dharmakaya level. He can be seen as the embodiment of »Buddhaship itself«.

 

As »bearer of the diamond sceptre«, Vajradhara embodies the diamond-like, non-created and indestructable nature of Buddhist teaching. Iconographically, he is usually represented with this tantric partner, the goddess Prajnaparamita*. She embodies transcendental wisdom.

The »father-mother posture « (yab yum) symbolically expresses the unification of the most deeply felt compassion and the greatest wisdom and, further than that, also signals the lifting of all opposing dualities into one all consuming entity.

Next to this original form, Vajradhara also appears in various other emanations.

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  Thangka; H: 116 cm, B: 77 cm; loan from Josette Schulmann
The Adibuddha* Vajradhara rests in tantric union with his female partner Prajnaparamita*. They are surrounded by a great many lamas and yogis. Buddha Shakyamuni is illustrated in the bottom row left; in the centre there is Cakrasamvara*, the embodiment of a tantric path of meditation. He is unified with his red partner of wisdom, Vajravarahi. On the right, we can see Avalokiteshvara*, the Bodhisattva* of loving compassion for all living beings.